I have long known that Donna played at the Cosmos Theater in Washington D.C. a couple times. First, she did the “California Bathing Girls” show on September 19-21, 1920. She then returned to the Cosmos in March 1921. The clippings that she had were from the September show as evidenced by the other acts on the playbill. The second clipping for the Crescent Theatre in Perth Amboy is confusing and proves I got something wrong in a previous posting.
Cosmos—“California Bathing Girls”
“The California Bathing Girls,” Tom Rooney’s Broadway sensation, the headline attraction at the Cosmos theater this week, foretells an early spring, if weight and daintiness of costumes and the unfolding of feminine buds be an indication. Donna Montran, an attractive singer, introduces the bathers one by one, and Anna La Toy executes some difficult and attractive poses….”
The Crescent—“As You Like It”
The clipping is from the Perth Amboy Evening News dated May 11, 1922, and shows Donna Darling & Company in “As You Like It” with Murray Walker and Jack Finney in a Song and dance cocktail. There wouldn’t be any question about the show and the date except I had previously determined that Donna and Company played B.F. Keith’s Greenpoint Theater the week of 11-17 May 1922 (See Donna Darling at B.F. Keith’s Greenpoint.) So, now I am confused. I’ll need to do a lot more research on her playing at both theaters to be sure of the dates.
What I learned:
Consequent to the above, I have updated the Donna Montran Timeline to include the following:
May 11, 1922 – Perth Amboy – Donna Darling & Company in “As You Like It” (Possible conflict with B. F. Keith’s Greenpoint)
Following Descendants of Nathan Smith & Belinda (Odell) Morgan – Samson Green Morgan
By Don Taylor
My half-sister Glennis is a DNA match on Ancestry.Com with several individuals who have common ancestors with Nathan Smith Morgan and his wife, Belinda [sometimes Malinda Odell. In the search to determine Glennis’ biological father, I am continuing to develop a tree of the descendants of Nathan and Belinda.
Descendants of Nathan and Belinda (Odell) Morgan I have examined:
There don’t appear to be any likely candidates from the descendants of Samson green Morgan. There were nine males that were “Possible but Unlikely.” All of the Descendants of Samson Green Morgan appear to have remained in the West Virginia and Ohio area. None seem to have moved until at least after World War II.
Further investigate the 9 “possible but unlikely” individuals if other candidates do not arise.
Note/– My Criteria:
“Candidates” are males born between 1925 and 1935.
“Not considered” are females who are unlikely to have had a male child between 1925 and 1935.
“Not a Candidate” are males born between 1915 and 1925 as being too young to have had a son between 1925 and 1935 and too old to be a candidate.
“Possible but unlikely” are males born between 1925 and 1935, but are not named Paul or Phil, which are the likely names of Glennis’ biological father, or otherwise don’t appear to fit the likely candidate who would have been in Minnesota or Michigan in 1953. I will revisit these possibilities later of this project fails to find a potential candidate.
This is a quickly developed “notional” tree and does not have the indepth sourcing attached to the findings that I typically follow. I di have supporting documents regarding much of Samson Green Morgan and his descendants. All records used were found at the following sites:
Find a Grave
For specific sources, please contact me.
[i] I’m pretty well convinced that Sanford, Sansom, and Samson are the same person. I believe that Sanford and Sansom were errors by the individuals who wrote what they think they heard. In any event, I am using Samson unless I have a compelling reason to use something else.
[ii] I used “Boy” and “Girl” for living individuals born since 1918 because they are possibly living.
I found an article in the Boston Globe (via Newspapers.com) about the contest. That article was on the front page of the 11 December 1916 issue of the Boston Globe, Page 1. The quality of the image is a little clearer than the image from the Boston Post (via Newspaper Archives). I updated the post with both images side by side.
Got to love the vocabulary used in old newspapers. “Pulchritude” is the kind of word that if you Google it, you can see how many on-line dictionaries there are. It is a big word for a common thing. Check it out for yourself.
Boston Post, 12 Dec 1916
Via Newspaper Archive
Boston Globe, 12 Dec 1916
In a previous article, I mentioned that Donna tried out to become the “Miss Boston” representative at the big preparedness bazaar to be held at the Grand Central Palace in New York. Well, I found another article about the contest Donna was involved in. According to the “Boston Post” of December 12, 1916, more than 50 girls had already tried out for Miss Boston and a “big rush” of over 100 more girls was expected. The Post’s article included photos of ten of the girls vying for Miss Boston. You never guess who the first girl shown in the article was? One of two girls on page one was grandma, Donna Montran. This newspaper photo is one of the earliest photos we have of Donna as a closeup. The article goes on to say that Donna is a blonde even though the photo doesn’t look that way.
The paper printed the names and addresses of the applicants. Imagine what would happen today if a newspaper published the home addresses of 49 pulchritude contestants. In December 1916, Donna was living at 64 Bennett in Brighton (Boston), MA.
By the way, “preparedness bazaar” referred to actions to prepare the United States for entry into World War I. The United States didn’t enter the war until four months later, on 6 April 1917. However, in December 1916, businessmen, intent on making money on the war, promoted military preparedness and the beauty contests were part of their strategy to create hype to encourage the US to enter the war.
After completing looking at the census records in a Surname Study, I like to look at Death records, particularly death certificates. They are usually accurate about the death date for an individual. Often, they contain accurate information on the current spouse. Occasionally, they include the names of parents, and least reliable the birthdate of the individual. On birthdates, I think the month and day are usually accurate but the year can be way off.
North Carolina Death Certificates, 1909-1976
To continue working on my Vinson Study, I decided to search Ancestry.Com’s search All Collections for people surnamed “Vinson” and any event in “Halifax County, North Carolina.” The results included 897 records. Then I selected Birth/Marriage/Death records (476 records), then Death, Burial, Cemetery & Obituaries which brought the number down to 171 records. Finally, I selected “North Carolina Death Certificates 1909-1976,” which yielded 36 records. For this study, I was only interested in white people born before 1880. Ancestry allows you to select for Race, so I decided to enter white. That query which yielded 23 records. Luckily, the results provide the birthdate so I can ignore individuals whose births were after 1880. The result was only 7 Records.
Record = Theodora Garret Vinson – 14 Feb 1859–28 Dec 1918. I do not have Theodora in my tree or research yet. She was widowed and there is nothing on the record indicating who she was married to. I decided to add her to my tree as an unrelated individual. I’m sure that Theodora will show up elsewhere.
Record = Mortha A Vinson – 25 Mar 1829–10 Nov 1913. This record is for Martha A. Vinson, (nee Smith). My files had her birth, death, and burial information previously.
Record = Thomas L Vinson – 1854-18 Feb 1923 My records had Thomas L. Vinson’s birth, death, and burial information previously.
Record = William Jaseon Vinson – 1860-1 Apr 1937 My looking at the name suggests to me his name was William Gastin Vinson. I will definately need to find his middle name written elsewhere to feel confident regarding his middle name.
Record = Mrs. Susie Vinson – 18 Aug 1862-23 Oct 1939 The Widow Susie Vinson’s spouse was John Vinson. I have several other John Vinson’s in my records. However, I can’t associate Susie to any of them. As such, I’ve created a new unrelated tree for Susie and John in my database.
Record = Benjamin Hunter Vinson – 20 Feb 1875 – 21 Jul 1966 This record was a treasure trove of information. I learned B. H. Vinson’s name is Benjamin Hunter Vinson. I also learned that his father first name was John; I’ve long had it as J. Robert Vinson. I also learned his mother was Leah Hunter. I also learned the day and month of his birth. For the year, previously, I had his birth year as being between 1873 and 1874. Considering his birthday was in February, that would indicate that earlier census records suggest he was born in 1874, however his death certificate states the birth year of 1875. I’ve decided to split his birth into two separate facts, one in 1874 (based upon census records) and one in 1875 based on his death certificate.
Record = Emmitt Vinson – 19 Feb 1877- 20 May 1972 This record provided more previously unknown information. I learned Emmitt’s birth, death, and burial dates and locations. I also learned his mother’s maiden name, Leah Nicholson Hunter.
Although several of the records I found regarding the Vinson’s in the Death Certificate records didn’t shine any new information onto my tree, however, several other documents helped greatly. Ancestry has many more death records that can be searched; however, they appear to be indexes and not actual documents, so I’ll continue on with my study. Next time, I will look at the marriage records for the Vinson family of Halifax County, North Carolina.
52 Ancestors – Week 2018-22
By Don Taylor
I have researched many individuals that have gone west over the generations. Anson Bickford is the first individual that I found that went to California early in California History (in the 1850s or 60s) and then returned to the east coast in the 1870s.
Whitten-Bickford 2018 – Ancestor WB12
List of Grandparents
Grandfather: Everett Anson Bickford
1st Great-grandfather: Anson Wayne Bickford
2nd Great-grandfather: A. Bickford
Anson Wayne Bickford (1835-1922)
Anson Wayne Bickford was born on 7 November 1835 in Kennebec County, Maine, to A. and Eliza Bickford. Various records indicate he was born in Oakland, Heartland, and Belgrade, Maine.
In 1873, the Maine legislature incorporated West Waterville. It 1883, West Waterville was renamed Oakland. Hartland, Maine is in Somerset County. Most of the records indicate Kennebec County, so Hartland seems unlikely. Because Oakland and Belgrade adjoin and Oakland was created long after his birth, I believe Anson was born in an area of Belgrade that later became Oakland. Further research regarding Anson’s parents should provide clues to Anson’s birth.
I know nothing about Anson’s childhood. However, when Anson was 16, Maine passed the first state law to prohibit the sale of alcohol. There were numerous protests against the law which culminated in the “Portland Rum Riot” when, in 1835, the mayor of Portland ordered the militia to fire on the rioters. One man was killed and seven were wounded. Maine’s prohibition law was re
pealed after that, in 1856, when Anson was 21 years old.
Although Anson was in his 20s when the Civil War broke out, I have been unable to find evidence that he served in the war.
The first place I found Anson after the Civil war was in California in 1865. He is living in California with his first wife, Henrietta, in San Francisco. Henrietta was from Halifax, so it is unclear if they met in the East then located to California or if they met in California and married there. In any event, the couple had fraternal twins, a girl and a boy, on 1 October 1865.
The following spring tragedy struck. Henrietta died of Consumption on 28 May 1866. His son “A. W.” (Possibly Anson Wayne, Jr.) also died the same day. Eight days later their daughter Nettie died.
Anson appears to have remarried either later in 1866 or in early 1867 to Jean Elizabeth MacGowan of New York. Their first child Jeannette was born in January, 1868. Jeannette was also known as Nettie like Anson’s first daughter. Anson and Jean had one more child, Ralph, while they were in California. Then the couple moved east, to Readfield, Maine. Anson and Jean had nine children together, eight of whom lived to adulthood. They are:
Children of Anson Wayne and Jean Elizabeth (MacGowan) Bickford
Between 1871 and 1873
Between 1874 and 1875
15 Oct 1876
29 Aug 1878
10 Nov 1880
10 Feb 1883
Erna Eliza Greta
23 Sep 1884
Readfield, Wayne, and Fayette are all adjoining communities in western Kennebec County, Maine.
The 1880 Census finds Anson and Jane living in Readfield with their six oldest children. Their seventh child, Mertie Alice was born on 10 Nov 1880 and died five days later on 15 Nov 1880.
The 1900 Census, reports the family had located about 20 miles away from Fayette to Auburn, Maine. The census reports that Jean birthed eight children, eight of whom were living in 1900. Mertie wasn’t mentioned. Living with them in Auburn are Nettie, Everett, Maude and Erna.
Jean died sometime between June, 1900, and October, 1904, when she was reported as deceased in the marriage registry of their son Edwin. Also, by 1904 Anson had moved across the river to Lewiston, Maine.
By 1910, Anson had moved back to Auburn to live with his son, Everett. That census indicates that Anson was a widower and that he had 11 children, eight of which were living.
Death & Burial
Anson moved to South Berwick, Maine about 1920 and died there on 24 August 1922. He was buried about 100 miles away at Fayette Mills Cemetery, Fayette, Kennebec County, Maine with his wife Jean/Jane, where they lived for many years.
Further Actions / Follow-up
Follow-up with research of Anson’s parents to determine his most likely birth location.
California Great Registers, 1866-1910, Family Search, Anson Mayne Bickford – No Image. “California Great Registers, 1866-1910,” Database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VT6N-SB2 : 8 December 2017), Anson Mayne Bickford, 06 Jul 1866; citing Voter Registration, Second, San Francisco, California, United States, county clerk offices, California; FHL microfilm 977,097.
Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921, Family Search, Birth – Erna Eliza Greta Bickford – Birth 23 Sep 1884. “Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2HVQ-SWY : 6 November 2017), Anson Wayne Bickford in the entry for Erna Eliza Greta Bickford, Birth 23 Sep 1884; citing Division of Vital Statistics, State Board of Health, Augusta; FHL microfilm 1,002,382. – Accessed 18 May 2018.
1880 Census, Family Search, Anson W. Bickford – Readfield, Kennebec, Maine. “United States Census, 1880,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MF35-72V : 15 August 2017), Anson W Bickford, Readfield, Kennebec, Maine, United States; citing enumeration district ED 102, sheet 384B, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 0482; FHL microfilm 1,254,482. Accessed 7 Feb 2017.
1870 Census, 1870 Census – Anson Brickford [Bickford] – San Francisco, San Francisco, California. “United States Census, 1870,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MN6Y-56H : 12 April 2016), Anson Brickford, California, United States; citing p. 220, family 1732, NARA microfilm publication M593 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 545,583. Accessed 17 May 2018.
Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921, Family Search, Marriage – Erna Bickford Salley & Albert Stevens Maddox. “Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q24N-6TR9 : 13 March 2018), Anson Wayne Bickford in the entry for Albert Stevens Maddox and Erna Bickford Salley, Marriage 24 Aug 1914; citing Division of Vital Statistics, State Board of Health, Augusta; FHL microfilm 10,151. – Accessed 18 May 2018
Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921, Family Search, Death – Anson W Bickford. “Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q24X-BSFD : 13 March 2018), Anson W Bickford, Death 24 Aug 1922; citing Division of Vital Statistics, State Board of Health, Augusta; FHL microfilm 10,080. – Accessed 20 May 2018.
Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921, Family Search, Birth – Estella A Bickford – 29 Aug 1878. “Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2HVQ-789 : 6 November 2017), Anson Wayne Bickford in the entry for Estella A Bickford, Birth 29 Aug 1878; citing Division of Vital Statistics, State Board of Health, Augusta; FHL microfilm 1,002,382. – Accessed 18 May 2018.
Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921, Family Search, Birth – Maud Barbara Bickford – 10 Feb 1883. “Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2HVQ-C27 : 6 November 2017), Anson Wayne Bickford in the entry for Maud Barbara Bickford, Birth 10 Feb 1883; citing Division of Vital Statistics, State Board of Health, Augusta; FHL microfilm 1,002,382. – Accessed 18 May 2018.
1900 Census (FS), Family Search, Anan T [Anson] Bickford – Auburn, Androscoggin, Maine,. “United States Census, 1900,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MML4-WG3 : accessed 17 May 2018), Everett A Bickford in household of Anan T Bickford, Auburn city Ward 3, Androscoggin, Maine, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 4, sheet 14B, family 357, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,240,587. – Accessed 7 Feb 2016.
Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921, Family Search, Marriage – Edwin W Bickford & Clara L Smith. “Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VZ3Z-LCM : 28 September 2017), Anson W Bickford in the entry for Bickford and Smith, Marriage 1904; citing Division of Vital Statistics, State Board of Health, Augusta; FHL microfilm 9,896. – Accessed 20 May 2018.
Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921, Family Search, Marriage – Everett Anson Bickford & Ada Maria Chase. “Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VZ3Z-FB6 : 28 September 2017), Anson W Bickford in the entry for Bickford and Chase, Marriage ; citing Division of Vital Statistics, State Board of Health, Augusta; FHL microfilm 9,896. – Accessed 20 May 2018.
Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921, Family Search, Marriage – George W Salley & Erma E G Bickford. “Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q24J-SQKV : 13 March 2018), A Wayne Bickford in entry for George W Salley and Erma E G Bickford, Marriage 01 Sep 1908; citing Division of Vital Statistics, State Board of Health, Augusta; FHL microfilm 10,186 – Accessed 24 May 2018.
1910 Census (FS) (NARA), Family Search, Everett Bickford, Auburn, Androscoggin, Maine. “United States Census, 1910,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MRSP-ND2 : accessed 18 May 2018), Everett A Bickford, Auburn Ward 2, Androscoggin, Maine, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 3, sheet 3A, family 73, NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1982), roll 536; FHL microfilm 1,374,549.
Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921, Family Search, Marriage – Raymond Richard Sherman & Barbara Maud Bickford. “Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q24J-34CR : 13 March 2018), Ancon Wayne Bickford in the entry for Raymond Richard Sherman and Barbara Maud Bickford, Marriage 28 Oct 1911; citing Division of Vital Statistics, State Board of Health, Augusta; FHL microfilm 10,189. – Accessed 19 May 2018.
 Various records indicate Jennie’s maiden surname was McGowan and MacGowan. I have decided to use MacGowan for her surname because it is the surname on her memorial stone.
 The 1900 Census is a very confusing record. It clearly indicates Jennie E, the wife of Anson Bickford, is living but was born in February 1840 and is 60 years old. Other records suggest she was born between 1849 and 1850. To add to the confusion, her marker indicates that she died in 1898. I believe the birthdate in the 1900 Census should be Feb 1850, making her 50 years old. That would then be consistent with all other records except for her marker. It appears that her marker was carved about 1957 when her daughter Matilda was buried, which might explain an incorrect death date on the common marker.